MetroGIS Logo: A Common Ground. MetroGIS Logo: Sharing Information Across Boundaries.
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Benefits > Quotes

Regarding Collaboration:

"In the U.S. case, the author (Ian Masser) zeros in on one of the most successful (if not the most successful) examples of joint multiparty ventures in sharing core data sets - MetroGIS, a stakeholder-governed cooperation among seven counties in Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area."
-Dr. Zorica Nedovic-Budic, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in her review of Dr. Ian Masser's 2005 book by ESRI press entitled GIS Worlds - Creating Spatial Data Infrastructures. Dr. Masser is an internationally respected authority on Spatial Data Infrastructures from technical as well as organizational perspectives. Dr. Budic, the reviewer, is referring to MetroGIS as noted by Dr. Masser as being among the most successful Spatial Data Infrastructure initiatives from an international perspective.

"MetroGIS has already resolved many of the problems that most communities are yet to realize even need to be addressed. These include questions such as 'What data do we share? How do we include partners who do not have the assets to fully participate? How do we convince anyone to participate?' These issues may sound trivial, but the reality is that the people-based, management issues are now more difficult to handle than the purely technical issues of data-sharing. MetroGIS has done a remarkable job."
-Sam Bacharach, Executive Director for Outreach and Community Adoption at the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), July 2004

"If someone is doing GIS on their own, they are not realizing the full potential of the technology."
-David Claypool, Surveyor and Coordinator of GIS Operations for Ramsey County, MetroGIS Coordinating Committee Member

"One of the benefits of Scott County's GIS User Group is that the county shares applications with the cities. The group is also a good way for us to get together and discuss GIS issues that affect us all, and it is an excellent forum for training group members."
-Dan Pfeffer, GIS Coordinator for Scott County

"The benefit of our consortium's membership in the Ramsey County User Group goes both ways. We have access to timely data that helps us do our job better, and the county gets feedback from us on ways to improve their data. A lot of information sharing and problem solving goes on at our meetings."
-Beth Hyser, Hamline Midway Area Rehabilitation Corporation; Member, St. Paul Community GIS Consortium

"The data cities want to see--like where crime is occurring or how property values are changing--don't necessarily stop at city borders. Cities often need a metropolitan-wide view to be able to see and compare what's happening elsewhere."
-Brad Henry, Engineer, formerly with the City of Minneapolis; currently with URS Corp.; Former Chair, MetroGIS Coordinating Committee

"GIS is a powerful tool for land use and other planning purposes. The Metropolitan Council supports the MetroGIS initiative because it helps advance our smart growth objectives. As the Council, counties, cities and others work collaboratively, we use resources wisely and make the region more competitive."
-Roger Williams, former Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member

"Sharing data among organizations is helping government provide services for less cost and less effort. MetroGIS exemplifies a trend we've seen on the city level in recent years to look 'outside the box' at ways to cooperate and form joint ventures."
-Terry Schneider, Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, Minnetonka City Council Member

"The MetroGIS approach is based upon the premise that collaborations must depend not simply on good will but on good sense - the investments required to assemble and manage aggregated data are real and cannot be justified on good will alone. The public officials that comprise the MetroGIS Policy Board provide the ultimate reality check!"
-David Arbeit, Director, Minnesota Land Management Information Center, MetroGIS Coordinating Committee Member

Regarding Cost Savings:

"The 2020 Planned Land Use dataset has revolutionized our planning practices. The data has saved considerable time and effort in identifuing and analyzing future development patterns. Before this data became available, we used paper maps for future land use patterns. We are saving our clients many dollars...not to mention that the foundation of the analysis is more reliable."
-Bob Diedrich, SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

"The process for assembling the data we need has become much easier under the MetroGIS data-sharing agreements, and our costs have gone way down. The regional datasets will also be a big plus because we will not have to spend our time standardizing the data from one county to another. We can go about our business of controlling the mosquito population."
-Nancy Read, Technical Services Leader, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District

"GIS data are indispensable tools as local governments and the Council prepare for the growth challenges of the future. MetroGIS facilitates the sharing of GIS data that meet the common information needs of local and regional governments. Data sharing has practical benefits - like saving time and money - for everyone involved."
-Roger Williams, former Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member

"MetroGIS has been instrumental in helping us get off the drawing board to develop what is perhaps the most unique GIS database system around, at least at the municipal level. MetroGIS opened the door and helped us in terms of accessibility to datasets from counties, providing a sizable cost savings."
-Joe Strauss, Executive Director, I-35W Coalition

"One of the essential jobs of counties is allocating scarce resources among many needs. As we get better and more information through data sharing we will make a fairer allocation of funds."
-Randy Johnson, Hennepin County Board Chair, MetroGIS Policy Board Member

"Many local governments could not afford the data on their own; MetroGIS made it possible."
-Victoria Reinhardt, MetroGIS Policy Board Chair

Regarding Planning and Growth Management:

"GIS is a very effective tool for planning and programming future street rehabilitation and communicating that plan to the residents and businesses of the community."
-Les Proper, Director of Public Works, City of New Brighton

"The challenges this region faces with forecasted population growth, and the resulting need to grow smarter through redevelopment and infill development in urban areas, just begs for GIS as an integral planning tool."
-Mark Vanderschaaf, Research and GIS Coordinator, City of St. Paul and former MetroGIS Coordinating Committee Member

"MetroGIS plays the unique role of facilitating the integration of geographic data from across the region, thus creating visual tools that greatly enhance public decisions, like siting new schools."
-Dr. Antoinette Johns, Superintendent, Brooklyn Center Schools; MetroGIS Policy Board Member

"Collaborating on GIS and sharing data are very practical for government in the region. We learn from each other, we save time and money, and we are better able to solve problems that cross community boundaries. GIS is an invaluable tool for addressing economic development, environmental protection, and a host of other Smart Growth issues."
-Roger Williams, former Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member

Regarding Data Access:

"Since the events of September 11 [2001], we've had requests for more current, and higher resolution, geographic data about the Twin Cities area from several federal agencies. DataFinder is a valuable resource for searching, learning about and viewing available data."
-Ron Wencl, National Mapping Program Liaison, United States Geological Survey, MetroGIS Coordinating Committee Member

"Regional coordination of GIS is important so governments can generate regionwide maps using the same protocols and standards."
-Bill Schreiber, former Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member

"I was able to find what I wanted on DataFinder very quickly. I scanned through the metadata, found information on the projection system, and downloaded the data with a double click. The whole process took five minutes, maybe less. I thought 'Great! This is terrific.'"
-David Windle, GIS Coordinator, City of Roseville, MN

"Before MetroGIS, it was extremely time-consuming just to obtain the data we needed from all the counties and then integrate it. Now we can focus on how to use the data to better serve residents."
-Nancy Read, Technical Services Leader, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District

Regarding MetroGIS's DataFinder Cafe:

"Being able to go to one place to get current, accurate parcel data will be a great benefit for airport noise planning. It will save a tremendous amount of time that I now spend getting and normalizing the data from individual cities and counties."
-Mark Kill, GIS Specialist with the Metropolitan Airports Commission

"If this allows us to select the current regional data we need off the Internet and bring it into our system, that's fantastic. This tool opens up a whole new world for GIS users, especially those of us dealing with multiple jurisdictions."
-Chuck Corliss, Director of Transportation and Capital Improvement for the White Bear Area Public Schools

"This project allows MetroGIS to fully realize its mission. The tool will provide GIS users easy access to exactly the data they need along with the security that data producers demand."
-MetroGIS Policy Board Chair Victoria Reinhardt

   Page last updated on January 19, 2006. Home   |   Search   |   Contact Us